American Renewal

The Enlightened Woke Have Invaded Our Minds

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Mike Gonzalez Senior Fellow, Heritage Foundation
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The enlightened woke keep telling us (the benighted helots) that we must all “decolonize our minds.” The poet Mukoma Wa Ngugi advises, for example, that this mental cleansing must take place because “inherited colonial inequalities were becoming more entrenched.”

Conservatives’ first reaction to this idea would be to laugh about how beyond parody the left has become. But let’s take this proposition seriously for a moment and apply it to the concepts we accept and the words we use in everyday life.

Why do conservatives routinely use ideas, terms and phrases that the left created as part of a project? The 2020 election, which blew up so many leftist shibboleths, offers a wonderful inflection point to re-calibrate our thinking.

Here’s the reality: The left has been in charge of the culture-making institutions for so long that we can, in all seriousness, consider ourselves to have been colonized. This has been the result of the call by 1960s’ radical Rudi Dutschke for a “Long March Through the Institutions.”

The Long March was an obvious reference to Mao’s Long March through the snow of China with his communist partisans in the 1930s. It is important not to lose sight of this, as it reminds us of the communist nature of the takeover. The only difference between China in the ‘30s and now is that Mao and his comrades were in an actual shooting war with the Nationalists, and the Long March of the past 50 years has not involved guns. (RELATED: How The Downtrodden Token Story Traps Minority Writers)

Just as in China, however, the Long March of our time has succeeded: they won, we lost. In an Areo Magazine conversation with the writer Aiyaan Hirsi Ali, Sarah Haider, also a writer, described things this way, “To put it rather dramatically: we are not meeting the barbarians at the gate; we are rebelling against the empire.”

Though she did not talk about being colonized, Haider did recognize that the super-woke are an infinitesimal minority (the Hidden Tribes Project put them at around 8% of Americans a couple of years ago) but they are, nonetheless, incredibly influential, controlling the thoughts of the majority. That’s a pretty good description of a colonial master.

“One may object, however, and point out that the majority of Americans are not woke. I believe that this is true. I also believe that it doesn’t matter,” Haider wrote. “When so many of our fundamental institutions are in cult-like consensus, when the richest and most powerful among us routinely display public allegiance to one faith, the preferences of the average American are largely irrelevant.”

“We must adjust our approach accordingly,” she added.

One way we can do that is to recognize the ways in which conservatives have allowed the language and concepts of the left to seep into their consciousness. “Minorities,” “Latinos,” “diversity,” “multiculturalism,” “anti-racism training” — these are all concepts created by the Left as part of a Leftist project.

Why do conservatives persist on repeating these terms today? Probably because they have been pre-programmed by their colonizers for so long that we now think this way.

As I explained in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal right after the election, and in a book I published this year, The Plot to Change America, Hispanics, or Latinos (or the downright loathsome term Latinx), were created as a census category by ideologues and activists who needed to expand the rank of “minorities.” Members of these minorities would then be instilled with grievances by a vanguard made of affinity groups, the better to transform America into something else.

The very concept of “minorities” itself, in the sense we understand it today, only entered the lexicon with Webster’s II, in 1961. It was only in 1945 that was associated with a sense of “collective discrimination” in a foundational essay on the matter by the German-American sociologist and urbanist Louis Wirth, an advisor to the Frankfurt School.

Even diversity, a wonderful concept when it’s obtained organically as a result of meritocracy, has come to mean an enforced statistical reflection of the base population in every classroom, office, court or legislature — something that requires coerced quotas.

Which brings us to the present moment. Donald Trump did not pander to these concepts (indeed, the mainstream media spent the past four years labeling him a “racist”). And yet he was rewarded with a share of the vote in Miami, Central Florida and Texas’s Rio Grande Valley — the state’s Mexican-American heartland — not seen in decades. (RELATED: The Birth Of A Multi-Ethnic, Working-Class Conservatism)

When asked about GOP candidates picking up Hispanic voters in the 2018 midterm election, one that went decisively for the Democrats, Univision’s Anchorman Jorge Ramos blurted out that it was the fault of Hispanics “who identify completely with this country.” This was an American election, mind you, and Ramos was chiding people voting who identified as Americans. In 2016, Ramos blamed “immigrants or the children of immigrants who have forgotten their origin.”

Give the Univision anchor his due. What we heard from voters from coast to coast, in other words, is that they think of themselves as individual Americans. The sooner conservatives decolonize their minds and their vocabulary and think again in this manner, the better it will be for them. Bob Marley’s classic line, “emancipate yourself from mental slavery,” should now be their anthem.

Mike Gonzalez is a Senior Fellow of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy at the Heritage Foundation and an Angeles T. Arredondo E Pluribus Unum fellow. He is the author of The Plot to Change America: How Identity Politics is Dividing the Land of the Free.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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